SB 0599 Modifies regulation of horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering
LR Number:2174S.01I Fiscal Note:2174-01
Committee:Local Government and Economic Development
Last Action:04/10/01 - Hearing Conducted S Local Government & Economic Journal page:
Development Committee
Effective Date:August 28, 2001
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Current Bill Summary

SB 599 - This act makes several modifications to the statutes governing horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering in Missouri.

This act authorizes the Governor to remove a member of the Missouri Horse Racing Commission for malfeasance or neglect of duty in office and to appoint the chair of the Commission. The Commission is authorized to hire an executive director and other employees and to enact rules and regulations necessary to carry out its duties. Employees may be restricted from wagering on horse races.

The expenses of the Commission are to be paid out of the existing Missouri Horse Racing Fund. Excess moneys in that fund each year go to the newly created "Horse Racing for Education Fund". Certain of the moneys made by Commission licensees must be paid to the Missouri Breeder's Fund to encourage and reward the owners and breeders of Missouri bred horses that win horse races in Missouri.

This act broadens the authority of the Commission to include such things as: imposing civil penalties up to $5,000 against occupational licensees and up to $10,000 against licensees who operate race tracks or pari-mutuel wagering systems; investigating applicants for suitability; restricting, suspending or revoking any license issued by the Commission; adopting standards for pari-mutuel wagering; requiring removal from race grounds of any law violator; entering race grounds and other places without a search warrant; and requiring disclosure of financial records. Licensees are subject to discipline for such things as: failing to follow the rules and regulations of the Commission; associating with persons or notorious or unsavory reputation; employing cheats; or engaging in fraud, misrepresentation, bribery, threats, extortion or dishonesty in any area governed by the Commission. This act prohibits the use of public funds or tax increment financing (TIF) benefits to construct, operate or maintain a race track.

This act sets the license application fee at $50,000 for a race track or pari-mutuel wagering operator's license. The Commission may require licensees to implement an affirmative action plan and to prove financial responsibility and suitability. Licensees shall conduct at least 50 days of live racing in Missouri each year and shall make a capital investment in Missouri in excess of $25 million within the first year of operations, or risk loss of license. Pari-mutuel wagering systems used in Missouri must be approved by the Commission. This act sets forth minimum requirements for approval of such a system.

The act makes the following acts Class A misdemeanors: operating a pari-mutuel wagering system in Missouri without a license from the Commission; and operating a pari-mutuel wagering system in a manner other than permitted by law and by Commission rules and regulations.

This act is substantially similar to HS/HB 882.